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Saturday February 28, 2015

Forza Wants to Put You in Fast & Furious for Free

A collaboration between Microsoft, Universal and Turn 10 has produced a video game called Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious, a standalone expansion of Horizon 2. If you have been a little leery of the whole Fast and Furious gaming franchise, here’s your chance to try this game out free on Xbox 360 and Xbox One starting March 27th.

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Xbox Live Gold: Make Room for Three Amazing Games in March

Xbox Gold members will be getting three new free games to play in this March edition. Xbox One players will be getting Rayman Legends, while Xbox 360 players will be getting Tomb Raider and BioShock Infinite.

Xbox is giving you more of what you love, with twice the free Games in April! Next month, you can look forward to four free games on Xbox 360, and two free games on Xbox One.

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Human Head Transplant Just 2 Years Away, Surgeon Claims

This has to be the creepiest story of the week. An Italian Neurologist, Dr. Sergio Canavero has outlined his head transplant procedure in a medical paper submitted to the Surgical Neurology International. The paper outlines the techniques and the prognosis for a full recovery within a year. The good doctor is looking for a few good test subjects if you are interested in getting ahead. big grin

And that's all without even taking into account the ethical considerations: in order to have the best chance of success, the donor body has to be still technically living. This also means that donor bodies -- even if the procedure could be approved -- would be in very short supply. Unsurprisingly, the concept leaves many uncomfortable.

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Microsoft Man: Internet Explorer Had to Go Because It's Garbage

The title says it all, but it’s not something you would expect to hear directly from Microsoft. The company decided to completely jettison Internet Explorer from the upcoming Windows 10 in favor of its new Project Spartan browser. The main complaint about IE was dragging the vestiges of older Internet Explorer versions that were non-compliant, creating unnecessary problems for new versions of IE (10/11).

Recent versions of IE have included various backward-compatibility modes that force the browser to repeat the errors of earlier versions.

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Windows 10 to Support USB 3.1 Type-C at Launch

Windows 10 impending release date is getting closer each month and more information is being released on what to expect from the new OS. From the WinHec Conference, we now know that Windows 10 will have native support for the new USB 3.1 Type-C right out of the gate. cool

Seeing that Windows 10 will ship in a few months and Type-C has already been approved, it makes perfect sense that the company will support the new connector natively from day one.

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How the 'Memristor' Could Revolutionize Electronics

Are you ready for a revolution in computing that took technology 37 years to catch up with the original concept? Hewlett Packard has been hard at work on the memristor that can and will change the way computers work. HP plans to introduce ‘The Machine", a computer based on the memristor technology in 2020.

The memristor technology is a candidate for this crucial step: It could mean the end of the silicon era, giving us lower power consumption, the ability to compute more information, increased data storage and completely new logic patterns for our computers.

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Netflix Reboots Danger Mouse and Inspector Gadget

Netflix announced this week additions to their growing streaming catalog. Look for some of your childhood favorites to become favorites to your own kids when Danger Mouse and Inspector Gadget get a reboot into the Netflix lineup. Netflix will also be bringing in three new kids shows, all between now and spring of 2016.

Erik Barmack, Vice President of Global Independent Content at Netflix, says the company "can’t wait for kids and families all over the world to get to know these stories."

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Stan Lee Gets His First Video Game Starring Role

Stan Lee has a habit of showing up for a cameo shot in all of his Marvel Superhero movies, but this is the first for the 92 year old comic book impresario: Stan Lee is now starring in his first video game, called appropriately Stan Lee’s Hero Command on the iOS and Android platforms.

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Apple to Hold Special Event March 9th

Apple chose to debut its long awaited smartwatch at the Daylight Saving Time change to punctuate the importance of the time and the event. The next big phase of Apple’s growth will begin, with revenue estimates ranging from $6.5 to $8.1 Billion attributed directly to the Apple Watch.

If I sit for too long it will actually tap me on the wrist to remind me to get up and move because a lot of doctors believe that sitting is the new cancer. It’s something that you’re going to think, I can’t live without this anymore.

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Lenovo to Ship Windows 10 Computers Without Bloatware

Lenovo swears the company has turned over a new leaf and vows to become the the leader in providing cleaner, safer PCs starting immediately. Most new computers come pre-loaded with all sorts of software that experienced computer users usually remove post haste. Lenovo is now committed to eliminate the need for extra step in removing extraneous software. This new revelation from Lenovo comes on the heels of the widely publicized Superfish Bloatware scandal.

To all who are affected, Lenovo is now giving away 6-month free subscription of McAfee Livesafe security scanner. If you’re already one of its subscribers, your subscription will be extended by six months.

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You Can Now Download Windows 7 ISOs Directly from Microsoft

What’s the deal with Microsoft lately? The company is softening its stance on many of its prior hard line policies. The latest is now you can easily download Windows 7 ISOs directly from Microsoft. The only stipulation to the download is you are still going to have to pony up your product key. There always has to be a downside to a good thing. big grin

If Windows is working you can find out the key by using NirSoft’s ProduKey. Just run it and the details will be displayed in the program window (along with keys for Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office if installed). Right-click the entry to copy the key.

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RadioShack Is Selling Its Name for $20 Million-Plus

What’s in a name? Apparently around $20 Million for RadioShack Corporation. The company filed for bankruptcy earlier this month and plans to close the majority of the company stores, while selling the remainder, which will partner with Sprint. The RadioShack brand name goes on the auction block on March 23rd.

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Sid Meier's Starships Coming in March

The upcoming release of Sid Meier’s Starships was announced this week on the Civilization Twitter account. The newest in the Civilization series will be released on March 12th on PC, Mac and iPad platforms.

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Minecraft Sells 500K Copies in Japan on PlayStation Platforms

Microsoft hit a home run when it recently purchased Mojang, developer of Minecraft. One of the world’s most popular games has now grown even more popular with its sales on the PlayStation Network of over 500K in Japan.

This sales are surprising, as console game sales have tapered off as Japanese consumers take to mobile over boxes and handhelds from Nintendo and Sony. Minecraft would be the No. 9 game on the 2014 sales charts if its PS iterations counted as one game.

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PSA: Amazon Shuttering Unbox on March 29th

If you are a customer of Amazon’s Unbox service, this is your wake up call to prepare to remove your movie content by the end of March or lose it forever. Amazon has made the decision to shut down its Unbox service on March 29th. If you are a customer, Amazon sent out emails this week to give you a heads up on the closure.

Amazon Unbox will no longer be available after March 29, 2015. This means you won't be able to use Unbox to view or download videos after this date.

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Revenge Porn Could Soon Become a Federal Crime in the US

With the notoriety from a publicized trial, the UK making revenge porn a federal crime and 16 states already with laws on their books, it was only a matter of time (and about time) that the Federal government address the issue of revenge porn and enact laws accordingly.

We already punish the unauthorized disclosure of private information like medical records and financial identifiers, why should personal images of one's naked body, given in confidence, be any different?

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Friday February 27, 2015

[H]ard|OCP Week in Reviews

Today is Friday and you know what that means! It is time once again for the [H]ard|OCP Week in Reviews! For anyone that might have missed them, we like to take a quick look back on the hardware evaluations and articles we posted earlier in the week. We kicked the week off with our evaluation of the Corsair Carbide Series AIR 240 compact PC case, followed by our Thermaltake Toughpower Grand Platinum 1200W review. Finally, we ended the week by answering that burning question How Does My Power Supply Impact Overclocking?

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: Nanoxia Deep Silence 5 Rev B. @ ocaholic

Xigmatek Mach Mid-Tower @ eTeknix

Cooling: Phanteks PH-TC14S @ Modders Inc.

Motherboards: MSI Z97 Gaming 3 @ HardwareOverclock

Storage: Seagate Seven External USB 3.0 @ Legit Reviews

Video: NVIDIA GTX 960 Round-Up @ Hardware.Info

XFX R9 290X DD Black Edition @ pcGameware

Corsair Carbide 100R Silent Review

If you are building a new system and you want to keep noise and cost to a minimum, the crew at Vortez says you will love the Corsair Carbide 100R Silent.

The Carbide Series 100R is a low-cost, entry level computer case which comes in two different versions – standard and silent. The standard version comes with a side window, fan mounts at the top and just one cooling fan whilst the silent version uses closed panels, comes with an additional fan, fan controller and noise reduction material. This case hopes to deliver on styling, features and cost but will it win our seal of approval today?

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Uber Security Breach May Have Affected Up To 50K Drivers

I was afraid the week was about to come to a close without a story about another Uber screw-up! Whew, that was close! wink

Thousands of Uber driver names and driver's license numbers may be in the hands of an unauthorized third party due to a data breach that occurred last year, the ride-hailing company announced today.

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Sony Accidentally Erased All 20th Anniversary PS4 Contest Entries

Wondering why you haven't been notified of your winning entry in the 20th Anniversary PS4 Contest? This ought to explain everything. big grin

Sony Japan has accidentally erased all information obtained from PlayStation owners who entered to win a 20th Anniversary PlayStation 4. Those who purchased PlayStation 3, PS4, Vita or Vita TV between December 4 – January 15 were handed a calendar with a code which entered them into the contest.

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Make Your Own Ambilight For $60

This is a great tutorial for making your very own DIY Ambilight for only $60.

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How Does My Power Supply Impact Overclocking?

This article is for all of you that have ever asked yourself the question "How Does My Power Supply Impact Overclocking?" Definitely good reading. cool

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Yesterday I was having a conversation on IRC with a bunch of guys that are very much into building desktop gaming PCs and of course many of these enthusiasts focus on overclocking. I was asked how much a PSU came into importance when we are overclocking our system in terms of overall stability.

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Vandalism Shut Down Internet, Cellphone, Telephone Service Across Arizona

Can someone please explain to me how you can leave a fiber optic cable exposed so that vandals can just walk right up to it and cut it with a hacksaw?

"There was a vandalism that took place on a fiber optic cable that basically runs from Phoenix to Northern Arizona," said Alex Juarez, a spokesman for CenturyLink in Arizona. The line, which is composed of extremely thick cable, appeared to have been cut with a hacksaw, according to Juarez. Phoenix police are currently investigating the incident and say they have yet to determine a motivation for the crime.

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8 Things Anita Sarkeesian Wants To Change About Video Games

While giving a lecture at New York University, Anita Sarkeesian outlined the 8 things she wants changed in video games. Hey, I have an idea! Maybe Sarkeesian can use the hundreds of thousands of dollars people have donated to her to fund her own game studio or maybe back other female developers instead of just constantly complaining.

  • Avoid the Smurfette principle (don't have just one female character in an ensemble cast, let alone one whose personality is more or less "girl" or "woman.")

  • "Lingerie is not armor" (Dress female characters as something other than sex objects.)

  • Have female characters of various body types

  • Don't over-emphasize female characters' rear ends, not any more than you would the average male character's.

  • Include more female characters of color.

  • Animate female characters to move the way normal women, soldiers or athletes would move.

  • Record female character voiceover so that pain sounds painful, not orgasmic

  • Include female enemies, but don't sexualize those enemies

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Gaming [H]eadlines

Apology For Resident Evil 2 PC Co-Op @ Blue's News

CoD: Advanced Warfare Havoc DLC PC Delayed @ Shacknews

Games For Change Awards Finalists @ GaemPolitics

New GTA 5 PC Screenshots @ VG24/7

[H] Custom Case Build of the Day

Although this is a work-in-progress, I can guarantee you that you guys will definitely want to keep your eye on this custom case mod by forum member BeckModZ.

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Lasers Could Boost Engine Efficiency By 27%

Because lasers make everything better. cool

Lasers can fix this problem by igniting the fuel in the middle of the combustion chamber instead of at the outer edge. This results in a much more complete burn, so you get more bang for your buck, literally. Also, lasers can be fired with nanosecond timing (multiple times per combustion cycle if necessary), and even targeted at different areas of the combustion chamber.

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[H]ardware Round-Up

Cooling: ID-COOLING SE 214X @ XtremeHardware

Raijintek Themis Evo @ pcGameware

ETC.: PC Persective Podcast #338 @ PCPer

Sub-$100 Gaming Headset Roundup @ TechSpot

Storage: AMD Radeon R7 240GB SSD @ CDRLabs

Video: NVIDIA Game Ready 347.52 Driver Analysis @ eTeknix

Aereo’s Bankruptcy Sale Raises Less Than $2M

The final kick in the cajones for Aereo? Raising less than $2 million at auction after estimating as much as $31.2 million.

The money raised in the auction was less than half of the $4 million minimum the company had expected to use to pay creditors. Aereo, which had raised about $100 million from investors, had estimated the auction could bring in as much as $31.2 million.

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